Although this is now realistically out of date, being the 'officially licensed'
game of the 1985/86 Superbowl (New England Patriots vs Chicago Bears), it's still
beat, combining simple strategy and arcade action to bring home the thrills of
the season's most important match.
Superbowl is designed for both the novice and expert, and comes with an audio
cassette explaining the rules. The emphasis is on the player's ability to control
the action directly via the joystick, rather than setting out the moves and
watching the computer depict the ensuring results.
The action is controlled through a comprehensive series of pop-down menus, with
the player to be put under joystick control chosen when the move has been
Now the action turns to the right, where an aerial view of the football field
contains pathetic miniature dots to represent the players. A press of the fire
button 'snaps' the ball to the quarterback, and the player guides his on-screen
counterpart through the hordes of opposing players.
If a passing play has been selected beforehand and the quarterback hasn't passed
the line of scrimmage, the ball is passed by pressing the fire button. Control
automatically passes to the catcher as soon as he receives the ball.
A window expands on the left hand side of the screen after each play, replaying
the entire move using three-quarter screen high characters, just like you'd see
on a giant scoreboard. If you don't wish to see this, simple press of the fire
button skips to the set-up menu.
While defending, the allocated player can either move into an intercepting position
or mark an opposing player in a threatening position. Punts and kicks are executed
by waggling the joystick back and forth to increase a 'power bar', and pressing the
fire button boots the ball when enough energy has been accrued.
Superbowl is an immediately impressive program which is well designed and
beautifully presented, but has one fundamental flaw - its inability to compete against
The computer opponent is a complete pushover for anyone more than a complete novice,
and consequently the one player game becomes boring very quickly. However, as a
two player game it's superb - a true arcade style head to head battle. Go for it
if you have a human handy to challenge you.